Sunday, May 9, 2010

Stay In Touch

I am working with a designer named Roy to create a new website for Snowday Ceramics that incorporates a blog and online shop together at It is still in progress, but I have started writing some blog posts there (as well as a test post or two). You can also “Like” or become a fan of Snowday Ceramics on Facebook, or follow snowdayceramics on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I was happily using one of my favorite clay tools recently and started composing a blogpost solely for it. And I guess because the Olympics just ended I thought about giving it a gold medal. And then I started thinking of other good tools I have, and figured I would round the whole idea out with bronze and silver too.


So, here we go. The Bronze goes to the hand-held Wire Cutter, which is not only useful for turning your big chunk into many little chunks, but also is indispensable for getting your finished pieces off the wheelhead. Honorable mention goes to the wire cutter attached to the wedging table at a 45 degree angle. Because when you are faced with a 25-pound cube of clay, there is no cleaner, better way to dissect it.

WoodToolSilver goes to this Wood Modeling Tool I may have picked out of the lost and found, but has proved itself to be perfect in so many situations. I use it when I want to clean up the base of my thrown pieces before cutting them off the wheel, and also find it extremely useful as a modeling tool when attaching handles. I have used it so much in fact that it is starting to wear down to a perilously fragile point and I was never able to read the name of the company that produced it, only faintly impressed on the side, and thus haven't been able to buy any replacements.

Gold goes to the Fettling Knife! Oh, fettling knife. You might try to cut through a clay slab with an xacto or a plastic butter knife, but I think really, the fettling knife has the best dimensions for the job, with its slim, long blade that is sharp, but not overly sharp. Its narrow rounded tip can get into corners where most modeling tools can't, and if you have a glaze drip, this is the best thing to shave it off. I even keep one around the house to open the mail.

There are so many ingenious tools out there to help artists work with clay, now I am sorry for the ones I've left out (sorry, tools!). But while tools by definition are specialized for certain uses, it seems I have a particular admiration for tools that are reliable doing multiple jobs. Like Olympic All-Around gymnast Mary Lou Retton. Or Decathlete Bruce Jenner. The Fettling Knife is like the Bruce Jenner of clay tools.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wintry Mix

WinterWispsHappy New Year and happy winter! I am emerging from a post-Holidays hiatus. A light, dry snow fell yesterday. I like how when it first started snowing the wind blew it into wispy, whiskery streaks along the street.

And how it created a halo glow around this StringHalopiece of string.

The last snow here in Philadelphia was in December- we got a crazy 23 inches or something. I had to go to A Very Kensington Christmas at Greensgrow Farms the next day, and I woke up early to dig out the car, got stuck trying to drive closer to my house to load up, but eventually, finally, made it. However, I was one of the only ones to do so that day.

I had been at this event the previous weekend, though, and it was great! A Very Kensington Christmas is InLiquid's holiday sale at Greensgrow Farms, a really cool urban farm and nursery in the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia. People were coming by throughout the day to pick up their CSA share, Christmas trees and wreaths, and shopping at our tables for gifts.

Chestnut1Greensgrow was also selling soups and-- get this-- chestnuts! which were actually roasted on an open fire! I could not resist. Have you ever had one? They can be difficult to open, especially when they are charred, the leather skins get brittle. Then there is a furry layer which is funny and soft, but it tastes bitter so you need to Chestnut3pick that away as well. And then, if your chestnut hasn't crumbled apart by this point, you have a brainy-textured nugget that tastes sweet and roasty, with a powdery and creamy texture that ends up melting in your mouth.

Monday, November 16, 2009

From Scratch Market

Snowday Ceramics had a table this past weekend at the From From Scratch SignScratch Market held at the Trexlertown Grange near Allentown. Credit goes to Pam Parker for a nicely organized event. I'd never spent much time in the Lehigh Valley before so I did not know what to expect, but ended up having a lovely day.

Snowday Ceramics Booth at From Scratch MarketMy table was located on the main hall of the Grange, with about 30 other artists and vendors of all kinds of handmade goods. I made friends with the other potter in the show, Pia Somerlock, who has her studio in the Poconos and has been doing this for about 10 years. She makes a wide variety of stuff including stoneware pots that are earthy on the outside, and brightly glazed on the inside. She will be at the Reading Public Museum "Art of the Craft" show next weekend.
Print by SpreadTheLove
I also chatted for a while with Melanie Linder, who has banded with a group of women from the Kutztown area to form Z-Town Made, an artist collective. A lot of their work seemed to be influenced by Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, but with a design-y freshness that is totally appealing. Maybe they are showing how design-y Pennsylvania Dutch folk art actually is. I ended up buying one of Melanie's prints.

From Scratch MarketA band called My Cousin The Emperor (I think?) played on the Grange stage, keeping the energy up throughout the day. There was also some very tasty food being sold downstairs, including a delicious butternut squash soup with fresh bread.

Speaking of food, after the show was over and I packed everything up, a source recommended I stop by Yocco's -The Hot Dog King, a local landmark fast food place. So I got pierogies, hotdog, and a birch beer before getting onto the Turnpike. Happy endings.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Update on The Clay Studio's 35th Birthday Party and Silent Auction.

To view auction items or bid online, go to the 35th Birthday link on The Clay Studio's website and scroll down to the Silent Auction link, or just click here, where you can browse all the artists, search by artist, and register to be able to bid on the auction. Bidding closes at 8:30pm on Saturday, October 10th.

Tickets are $35 for the party. Live bands include Courtney Fairchild and Twister Baby! Beer from Victory Brewing Company! Wheel-throwing and hand-building demos!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

River City Festival

I found out about, and decided to apply to this kind of last minute, but I am looking forward to having a booth at the River City Festival this coming Saturday, October 3rd from 12 - 5pm. This is a celebration of the waterfront at Penn Treaty Park sponsored by the Fishtown Neighbors Association and will include a 5K run, live bands, community programs, and vendors.

I have been working on lots of new cups and will also have snowkid ornaments for sale (yes, already!).

I have also been applying to some other craft fairs this fall, for the holiday shopping season, and will definitely post about those when they are confirmed!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cupcakes for Claymobile

If you will be in Old City this coming First Friday, surely you would like to stop by The Clay Studio at 2nd & Race Streets where the Claymobile, The Clay Studio's educational outreach program, will be having a BAKE SALE to raise funds for the Claymobile's programs.

The Clay Studio will also be holding their opening for exhibits by John Utgaard, graduate students, and one of my previous instructors and friend, Shawn Spangler.